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Happy Saturday! Warning: I’m fixing to make you an offer. Well, it may be an offer for you. It depends on who you are. Along the way, I’m going to provoke you to think and perhaps consider some new ideas. I hope you find it useful.
I’m currently looking for U.S. based business owners who are prepared to take their business and their leadership to whole new heights…to join me inside The Peer Advantage by Bula Network. Quite simply, The Peer Advantage by Bula Network is a 7-member peer advisory group – a mastermind group, if you please. Seven entrepreneurs together with me serving as the smart guide. People willing to join forces to help each other grow their businesses by sharing experiences, insights, questions, and answers.
You can find out all the details by visiting ThePeerAdvantage.com.
But today I want to focus on why this is the world’s best opportunity for entrepreneurs to grow.
Growth is popular to claim. Easy to say that we want, but much tougher to accomplish…because it’s not easy. Or comfortable. And we want to be comfortable, then when we are comfortable we want to remain comfortable.
There are 2 basic forces involved in this world’s best opportunity for entrepreneurs to grow. They’re PERSPECTIVE and POWER. Both involve our willingness to embrace – I mean fully embrace – the service, support, and help of others. Let’s talk about them.
Here’s a story you may or may not have heard. Listen carefully.
Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”
They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Every one of them touched the elephant.
“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.
“Oh, no! it is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.
“Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.
“It is like a big hand fan,” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.
“It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.
“It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.
They began to argue about the elephant and every one of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually, the elephant has all those features what you all said.”
“Oh!” everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.
The moral of the story is that there may be some truth to what someone says. Sometimes we can see that truth and sometimes not because they may have a different perspective which we may not agree with. So, rather than arguing like the blind men, we should think, “Maybe they have their reasons. I should find out more.” This way we don’t get in arguments. This allows us to derive benefit from people with different viewpoints and perspective.
Six blind men, with combined perspectives, got it right. By themselves, they only had a single perspective that didn’t accurately represent reality.
Entrepreneurs don’t grow based on illusion or delusion. We need reality. We need clarity. We need accuracy. To get that, we need the help of others. We need their perspectives. Not to make up our minds for us, but to help us see things as they truly are so we can make up minds with much better information. Result? Much better decisions. Coupled with much faster speed because as we’re benefiting from the perspective of others we’re vastly accelerating the decision-making process.
Another illustration is useful. It’s Plato’s allegory of the cave.
It begins with a scene painted of a group of prisoners who have lived chained to the wall of a dark cave their entire lives.
Every day the people in the cave watch shadows projected on a blank wall in front of them. The shadows are real and shape their entire reality. It’s their only viewpoint.
Now imagine that one of the prisoners leaves the cave and walks outside into the sunshine. For the first time in his life, he’s exposed to life outside the cave. He can now finally see the true forms and shapes of the shadows he thought were real. The allegory poses the question, “What would he think of his companions back in the cave?” He’d probably feel sorry for them and their limited reality because he now knows things they don’t.
If he returned back to the cave and told them about what he saw, they’d likely laugh at him and think he was crazy. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave explores the tension between the imagined reality that we think is real (shadows) versus the reality that is the truth (outside the cave). For our purposes today, it illustrates how a single viewpoint can limit our understanding and ability to see reality. Perspective is empowering when it’s expanded. It’s limiting when it’s restricted.
Force is positive. Sure, it can also be negative, but I’m thinking of it more like LIFE-force. Forces for good. We need forces in our lives. Power that pushes us. Without, we devolve into lives of low character, crime, and other awful, selfish behavior. Think of this as power “on demand,” like the accelerator of your car.
Power is energy. The energy to propel us forward. No power, no forward progress or momentum.
There are two basic forms of power: internal and external. Both can be influenced internally and externally. Let me explain.
Motivation is a word you hear all the time. As in Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker. 😀
Well, I don’t think there is such a thing as a motivational speaker. Not really. They’re more accurately inspirational speakers. They inspire.
Motivation is the energy you bring to get the work done. It’s your internal energy or power. Some people can’t find the energy to get out of bed. They’re unmotivated. You can do whatever you want, say whatever you want…but until the person makes up their own mind to get out of bed, they’ll lay there all day.
Somebody may be able to supply a degree of power (or energy) in the form of inspiration. It may spark something inside them, but it’s not true power – not the kind of power required to get them out of bed. Only they can supply that.
External power can also happen in the context of seeing how we fit in a community or group. For example, professional athletes get traded in every sport. They leave one team to join a new one. When they enter the locker room of the new team they have to figure out – with the help of the coaching staff – where they fit. But the coaching staff won’t likely have the biggest impact on “fit.” The other players will. The “room” (in this case, the locker room) is more important than any single player in a team sport because a single player – no matter how impactful he may be – can’t determine the destiny of the team. This new player will get a sense of the culture of the group and he’ll have to figure out his place within the context of the team. High achievers will embrace the influences (the power exerted by others, especially the existing leadership) so they can quickly contribute. They’ll use that energy for their own individual performance and for their ability to contribute to the team’s performance.
It’s interesting to see players who may have struggled in one environment – on one team – move to a new team where their performance soars. What happened? Did they suddenly gain skills they lacked? Of course not. That change of “rooms” presented them with a new force – a new power and energy. They used it to their advantage and decided they’d lean into the new energy.
Everybody benefits from PERSPECTIVE and POWER, especially entrepreneurs who are so accustomed to going it alone.
As business owners, we’re surrounded by people. We can be with other people and still be lonely because there are many things we’re unable to share with people inside our company. And there are things we don’t want to share with anybody outside our company either. Mostly because the people in our lives are people to whom we’re connected in some way.
Employees see us as the boss. They mostly want to keep us happy. It’s unfair of us to burden them with our challenges anyway. Besides, they can’t relate to our problems. Even if they’re part of our leadership team we’re not likely going to rely on them for everything that hits our plate. Some decisions are best left to our solitude. It’s how we live.
Outside professionals are mostly people who have us as a client. Suppliers. Vendors. Service professionals. Sure, we solicit them for specific challenges. If I’m bogged down on negotiating a new lease I’m not making a move without my real estate attorney who specializes with such things. But if I’m considering merging with another company, I’m not going to trust him…or anybody else until I get more than ankle deep into the decision.
Who do I lean on during that period of time when I’m sticking my toe in the water until I get ankle deep? Nobody. Likely. I’m going to wrestle with it alone.
The loneliness isn’t defined as literal solitude necessarily. We may talk with a number of people. Maybe our spouse. Maybe a close friend. Maybe a therapist. 😉 But we’re still basically going it alone because there’s nobody who can really relate or understand. We’re just flapping our gums to get it off our chest. And if we’re really lucky (which isn’t that often in this regard), people just listen. No, we’re not likely that lucky. These people have opinions. They tell us we shouldn’t do it. Or we should do it. Talk about an uninformed opinion! It’s not helpful.
The World’s Best Opportunity
Here’s the challenge – surrounding ourselves with people who get it, but people who have no vested interest in the outcome. That is, they don’t benefit personally or individually from our decision. So they don’t exert any pressure (power) with a viewpoint (perspective) that seeks its own welfare. They simply are there to serve us to help us think through it and figure it out for ourselves. Their presence speeds things up significantly because like those blind men, they have a viewpoint worth considering. And they’re bound to have questions that will help us clarify and see things for what they really are – helping us avoid just seeing shadows cast on a wall.
The power of peers is obvious. Everybody is in the same boat of business building. The industry or space doesn’t matter. Business building is business building.
Parents of Murdered Children is a national support group for the poor people who have experienced that awful fate. You don’t want to qualify to join that group, BUT…if you do qualify what better group could you join? Who better to surround you during such a tragic time?
You walk in the room, introduce yourself by simply giving the group your name…and that’s it. That’s the only explanation necessary. You look around the room and realize everybody here “gets it.” They know what you’re feeling. They understand the struggle. Even though their specific experience may be very different, the heart of the connection with the entire group is powerful. The conversations are equally powerful because you’re not having to explain to this group what you may have to try to explain to your closest friends. This group understands it in a way your friends can’t. And THAT is a remarkable help. It’s a level of support and service you can’t get elsewhere.
The Peer Advantage by Bula Network is a level of support and service for business owners. Everybody is a business builder interested in elevating their own performance and the performance of their company. Every member is ready to climb to a higher altitude. And they know that if others are willing and able to help them, then they can get there faster. And they can climb higher.
The details are at ThePeerAdvantage.com, but I don’t respect people who hide things like a bullfighter hiding the sword behind the red cape. Nothing is hidden. So here’s the bottom line…
You’ll be joining a group of 7 entrepreneurs total. I’ll serve as the smart guide, but I’m also a member of the group.
We’ll meet every other week for 2 hours using a video conferencing platform like Zoom.us. You’ll be able to join via your mobile phone, your tablet or your computer.
Each meeting will have a hard start and stop time. We’ll hit the ground running every session. And we’ll end on time. We’re all busy. This won’t be a time waster.
Along the way, we’ll also have some live and recorded webinars to help the group learn new skills, whatever the group wants. We’ll leverage experts who can share their knowledge and insights with us. You won’t have to attend these live, but some will be live. They’ll all be available to you when it’s convenient for you.
The group will be comprised of business owners from around the U.S. They’ll be in a variety of industries and markets. That diversity will help us leverage the power of perspective.
Between our group sessions, we’ll use communication tools as needed. Expect some strong relationships to be forged.
The sessions will not be judgmental, filled with a circle of people who regularly use words like “should” or “shouldn’t.” As in, “You should do this” or “You shouldn’t do that.” Instead, it’ll be filled with people willing to ask questions so they can better understand and help you better understand. It’ll be filled with people willing to push you in the most caring way because they know why you’re there — for the same reason they’re there. To grow, improve and transform. They want to see you soar. They want to soar.
It’s reciprocal. Have you ever helped somebody and felt like you received as much, or more help, than they did? That’s how it works. So whether we’re in the “hot seat” with the focus on us or we’re serving somebody else with their challenges or opportunities, we’re using the information to figure out how it can benefit us and our company.
There’s a $1,299 enrollment fee that is non-refundable. Then quarterly membership is $2,697 paid in advance. For the first 90-days, that full amount of $2,697 is fully refundable. That means, if after six 2-hour sessions you don’t find the value high enough, we part friendly and I give you the $2,697 back. But that’s not going to happen. I’m confident you’re going to find this to best deal going – the highest ROI of anything you could possibly do! It’s going to change your life in the most positive ways possible.
Here’s what you need to do right now. Go to BulaNetwork.com/apply and complete that confidential Google form. It’s an application. Complete that and it’ll prompt you and me to jump on the phone together so we can more fully discuss your business. We’ll decide together if this is the right opportunity for you. But I stand by my statement that this is the world’s best opportunity for entrepreneurs to grow!
Be well. Do good. Grow great!